First Canine Companions for Independence® Facility Dog in Kentucky Joins Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lexington 
The first Canine Companions for Independence facility dog in the state of Kentucky has joined the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Lexington team.  Matilda, a yellow Labrador, will assist handler Liz Noffsinger during her work with CASA children.  This match marks a first for the state of Kentucky in receiving a Canine Companions for Independence facility dog.     
CASA uses trained community volunteers to represent child abuse and neglect victims within the family court system. 
The program currently serves Fayette, Bourbon and Woodford county family courts.  Matilda will attend court, home visits, family team meetings, hearings and any situations where she can help alleviate stress and provide comfort for CASA children and other parties involved, with her handler.
Matilda was trained by Canine Companions for Independence, which has been enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs.  For the last 40 years, more than 5,000 assistance dogs have been trained and placed with program graduates.  The estimated cost of a highly trained Canine Companions facility dog like Matilda, and all follow up support, is $50,000.  However, each facility dog is provided at no cost, thanks to the support of donors and volunteers.  Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people.  For more information on Canine Companions for Independence visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.
“From the beginning, Matilda has made a huge impact on the children we serve by adding a calming influence to children that must navigate the family court system, due to no fault of their own.  She has brought joy to children who have been removed from their home of origin and are in foster care and is even making a difference in my colleagues and my own mental outlook.  I believe Matilda will provide a service to CASA children that we can’t even fully understand yet,” said Liz Noffsinger, CASA Canine Handler.
CASA of Lexington uses trained and supervised volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in the family court system.  If you are interested in becoming a CASA volunteer please contact the office at (859) 246-4313.  To make a donation or learn more about CASA of Lexington visit the website at